Randa Mai interviews Akechi Denki (1999)

bild 4

Randa Mai interviews Akechi Denki
in Speculum, No. 8 (1999)

The following interview was translated by Nana. Thank you for your help!
Randa Mai has kindly allowed me to share the text and images here. Thank you!
Translation commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks.

**********************************************************
Randa Mai’s SM friendship journal – Series Vol.3
The grand master of the world of Kinbaku: Akechi Denki

Today’s guest is Mr. Akechi Denki, who is my senior and someone that I respect greatly, an influential figure in the SM world. I have already a long-lasting friendship with him. Currently, Akechi Denki is trying to introduce Japanese kinbaku to the world outside Japan. Akechi Denki, who is particular about kinbaku, loves kinbaku dearly, and devotes everything of himself to kinbaku – I am certain that he is the only person who could convince the world about kinbaku. So, this time, I would like to present ‘The world of Akechi Denki’.
Randa Mai [R]: It is a pleasure to see you after such a long time. I am sorry that I came on a busy day for you

Akechi Denki [A]: It has been ages. Have you been well?

R :  Yes. It seems that you have had a lot to do, but I hope you have been well?

A : Yeah, I have been doing my best somehow.

R : Though there is no particular theme we must talk about, I thought I would like to start by asking what you are up to at the moment, and your upcoming plans. It seems to me that your tendency has been considerably different recently, compared to before.

A : Yes, that’s right. It’s 180 degrees different.
About 15 years ago, when I started doing the ‘Phantom Show’, there were quite a few well known journalists coming to see the show. If I asked them ‘Please write about it in the magazines’, they said ‘I don’t want to write about the Phantom Show because I want it to be only for our pleasure’, ‘I don’t want it to come out to the mainstream of society’, and so on.
And indeed, at that time, my soul as an ‘enthusiast’ was deep. I thought: ‘I had better not present myself in the mainstream culture’, ‘SM should stay in the underground for good’, and so on.
However, since about 4–5 years ago, I have been invited to various places and people have started to say: ‘This cannot be a thing only for the underground’.
Back then, various people were doing so-called ‘SM shows’ at various places at that time and I went to see them, and I thought ‘this is not really right’. There were shows in which the idea of SM was strangely twisted, and seemed only superficial. Their so called ‘shibari’ was also absolutely ridiculous. ‘Well then…’, I thought – it was like I was coming out. I told them: ‘Hey, that is not the way to do it’ … And it turned out everyone was pleasantly surprised at what I spoke. They were like: ‘There is someone who thinks earnestly even in the SM world’… I felt I got such a response from them, so I became aware that I would need to do what I did more publicly after all.

R: So, you decided to step into the spotlight?

A : Yes. It was just around that time when I met you, Ran-chan, for the first time, wasn’t it?

R : Yes.

A : You were doing stage shows. I had heard that there was someone who had the same soul as mine. I went to see your show and talked with you. You understood what I said and we connected with each other. I often said ‘Randa Mai is the only one who is promising among the young’ (laughing).

R: I was in my 30s at that time (laughing).

A : SM is about the heart, it cannot be a superficial thing. If you could find one submissive woman, she is a treasure. You have to embrace everything about her. For example, listening to her for things on her mind. I have been saying this again and again.

R : I understand it well.

bild 2

A : I have recently been dragged out to different fields again. For example, I made an appearance at a big cultural conference in Akita prefecture. [1]

R : That was also given a big write-up in a tabloid magazine (laughing).

A : Indeed, you are talking about the matter of Ms Ishii Mitsuko [t/n : an actress-turned-politician], right? I was performing kinbaku at the conference, as requested by Mr Saegusa Shigeaki [t/n : a composer]. Suddenly Ms Ishii came in to intervene and I was a bit annoyed, but Mr Saegusa got in between, and I was able to continue. Mr Okuda Eiji [t/n : an actor and film director] talked to the audience. There was a massive ovation in the end.

R : You are receiving a lot of attention, but in the wrong way.

A : That’s right. Various media came to interview me, too…

R : By the way, Sensei, you are going to the Netherlands again soon. Could you tell me about it?

A : Yes. To Amsterdam. I am invited to perform at an annual event called ‘De Mask’.

R : When you do such activities abroad, it is because you want to introduce the beauty of Japanese kinbaku to them, isn’t it?

A : Yes, indeed. I feel that shibari is a Japanese culture. It’s a traditional thing that has been handed down since ancient times in Japan. Indeed, Japan is the only country which has a history of shibari.

R : An invitation to perform at ‘De Mask’ must be a big thing.

A : Yes, it’s the first time for an Oriental person. Enthusiasts from all over Europe, around 3,000 people, will gather there. I was chosen as one of only five performers who have a chance to perform there. It’s the biggest underground event in Europe. Really, I think that this time it could be a critical turning-point for me.

R : It seems your performance in the Netherlands last year became a hot topic and you were recognised. [2]

A : That’s right. I have heard that it became a thing that was talked about. I did a lot of interviews, also with regular newspapers… They thought the whole scene was mysterious, that a woman who was tied in various forms with a single rope screamed with pleasure and held me tight as I embraced her at the end.
It took place in the biggest SM club in Europe called ‘Doma’. No one cared about me at first. They were like, ‘A weirdo came from the East’. I was not welcomed, really. But when the show was over, everyone stood up and applauded. The owner of the club explained to them: ‘This is also one of the forms of love’.

R : Wow, that sounds amazing. So, when is the ‘De Mask’ event happening?

A : It’s the 29th May [1999].

R : I see. By the time this magazine comes out, it’s already over then. I guess it will be a hot topic again, at home and overseas… I am looking forward to hear about it. Please do your best by all means.

bild 3 kopia

A : Thank you. Yes, I have to work hard. Recently, I have got a request from a famous Taiwanese female film director to create an installation for her film. I am working on it right now. The thing is huge, though it is an installation using rope, of course. Two girls are fiddling with each other on top of a gigantic bird cage which has been made with rope. The movie is a fantasy about what sex will be like 100 years from now. But it is also hard work. I have been racking my brain (laughing). [3]

R : That sounds challenging. Changing the subject, what are your thoughts about the current SM industry?

A : Well… In short, there is not enough ingenuity there. Their ways of expression are quite poor.

R : As I have also written in my column in this magazine, it has become too standardised.

A : Oh yeah, that’s right. They make it too easy. There is something more, a deeper place. The way to express the embracing of the woman, the ingenuity in the tools we use, etc. Devotion, that’s devotion. It’s not there. It seems as if they are doing a routine task. There are too many of them who do not know what SM really is. Even the way they use rope, they do unbelievably terrible shibari. For example, the model’s chest rope is loose and ends up around her neck, so she is almost dying, it is all so dangerous (laughing).

R : There are also people who are not even aware of the difference between musubi [knot] and shibari [bind]. Indeed, some people don’t know that women get sexual pleasure through their minds, rather than just by stimulation of their bodies.

A : Uh-huh, it’s mere abuse those people are doing. There are many people whose soul is not there.

R : I think the amazing thing about Akechi Denki is that you have such a soulful feeling like: ‘I would die with the submissive woman anytime’. How about that? The feeling of: ‘I would die together with her if something was to happen to this woman while we play’… I feel it whenever I see you play…

A : Yes. Of course, I would not be able to do what I do to the women if I was not prepared to commit suicide by cutting my belly. That’s love.

bild 3

R : Getting into such a mindset can be ‘pleasure’ on our side, too. It’s like: ‘This woman has my life in her hands’. It’s impossible to do truly bold shibari or play until we get that feeling.

A : It’s about opening your heart.

R : This is the biggest thing I have learnt by watching Akechi Denki’s play. If you are anxious, feel hesitant or cowardly, you are not able to do further, deeper play. We feel an amazing pleasure when both of us manage to get into the same state of mind, that is (laughing).

A : Anyway, men are unreliable nowadays (laughing). Unreasonably immature. They don’t have energy to lead, can’t push it like: ‘Look at me!’. Women are stronger now (laughing). I wouldn’t like to see submissive men taking over the world, to be really honest (laughing). I think that ultimate submissiveness is about ‘to be a baby again’. ‘The other person does everything for me’, ‘The other person finds where I feel pleasure’ and so on. Real babies are like that, aren’t they? If they cry, they get breastfed, food, a nappy changed. Babies can’t take care of themselves. Aren’t submissives the same? They do not need to do anything. The other person does everything for them. …People who have strong submissive tendencies tend to have the ‘habit of return’. They wish to go back to being children. I believe so.

R : I see.

A : So, that’s why men should not live that way (laughing). A man must fight. He must protect the woman. He has to embrace everything about her. Like, up to the point where he is able to take over the role of her mother. You should treat a woman in that way if you love her. We should keep developing ourselves… It’s ridiculous that some people who are not able to do it are messing about with such issues as ‘two-timing’ or even ‘three-timing’ (laughing). I am like: you are really not such a powerful man! (laughing).

R : Dear readers, are you listening? (laughing) Akechi Denki is angry (laughing).

A : Don’t talk about SM if you cannot even successfully seduce one woman! (laughing)

R : Sensei, please calm down (laughing).

A : Just joking, I shouldn’t say those things even if I really want to (laughing).

R : What do you think about the SM world having become commercialised? … Because, all of us so called ‘kinbakushi’, including me, we are making a business out of the unique world called SM. We are using it to earn our bread. But I feel that Akechi Denki is a bit different.

A : Yes. Basically, I don’t think it’s a good idea to make a business using SM.

R : As I expected. You are a true ‘enthusiast’. That’s why you are an amazing existence. You don’t do SM for business, don’t take advantage of SM. Those of the same trade are using it conveniently and make a business. I am the prime example (laughing).

A : (laughing) You wouldn’t have any trouble doing it because everyone has approved. … Well, yeah, I absolutely don’t want to lose my heart as an ‘enthusiast’. However, I have a sense of responsibility and self-awareness as a professional, naturally. Without that, I cannot continue to do it. Especially when it comes to ‘SM as a show’, I have a pride and confidence in it as a professional. That’s my grass roots. I am also hoping to make a study of it.

R : What is ‘SM’ to Akechi Denki?

A : … (pausing for a while) …that’s rope. I call myself ‘Nawashi’, I love rope and I love shibari. That’s ‘the act of exchanging love through rope’. I would say, everything begins with Ushirote Shibari and ends with Ushirote Shibari. [t/n : ‘a tie with the hands behind one’s back’.]

R : Do you have any dreams or goals for the future?

A : Yes, I want to keep challenging myself to do various things. I would like to tell the world about the culture and beauty of Japanese shibari. Also, I want to research in the history of kinbaku, and I hope to make this legacy remain. It won’t make much money though (laughing). But I want to leave my footprints in the future generations.

R : I want ‘Akechi Denki’ to always stay on top, one step or two steps ahead. I want you to keep running ahead of us. Then I am encouraged to do my best when I see your back.

A : Yeah, I want my juniors to keep following me, and then I want them to overtake me eventually. Maybe ‘Randa Mai’ can do it, indeed.

R : It’s absolutely impossible to overtake you (laughing).  But I will do my very best to get close to you.

bild 1 kopia

 

– After the dialogue –

That was the evening of our reunion after a long while, and we got carried away in conversation. After all, the energy of ‘Akechi Denki’ is incredible. I am always overwhelmed. He is always thinking about something new. I could not get more pages in the magazine for our conversation, but we also talked about the history of kinbaku extensively as we both adore it. I found out that Mr. Akechi has been researching in the history of kinbaku in depth. He is always thorough in everything he does. He is a man who does nothing by halves. That’s why he is phenomenal. I, as a person who failed in my U.S. promotion last year, am proud of his success and high reputation in Europe as a fellow countryman, and I also envy him as a person in the same business.
I can’t resist sighing when I look at my article about ‘black market porn videos of U.S. reimport’ (laughing). Akechi Denki is the greatest. I am not even close. I hope to keep seeing new ‘legends’ of him being born.
Akechi Denki – From Tokyo, Age unknown
In the late 70’s, he participated in the SM experimental theatre-group GSG planning. There, he was responsible for directing and supervising the shibari. He was also active as a Nawashi himself. He constantly creates new shibari projects such as Tokyo SM Project, SM Bomber and SM Aquarium. During the Adult Video epoch of the 1980’s, he became widely known as he made an appearance in many videos by production companies like Uchuu Kikaku, VIP, Endo Pro, Athena Images.
From July 1987, he organised Studio Phantom – a members-only gathering. In September in the same year, SM Experiment Theatre at Studio Phantom was launched and had a regular performance twice a month – it ran a long-term performance of 10 years until June 1997.
After that, he organised four different types of gatherings such as SM Society Denki’s Meeting and so on.
In the early 1990’s, he worked as a nawashi on various photo-publications, V Cinema [t/n : feature films produced and sold as a video format without theatre release, often containing soft porn elements] and TV.
In August 1997, he opened Salon Garasha and still continues. In 1998, he performed in the Europe’s largest SM club Doma, and also at other places in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and elsewhere. In 1999, He is the first Oriental person who is formally invited to Europe’s biggest SM & Fetish party DeMask, and will also perform in the Netherlands, Belgium and so on.

******

Notes by Bergborg

[1] The cultural conference included a panel on ”the art of kinbaku” [緊縛芸術]. One of the other participants in the panel was Dan Oniroku.
[2] About the performance in the Netherlands, see an earlier post here: https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/akechi-denki-visiting-europe-1998/
[3] The movie mentioned was given the title I.K.U. Available on DVD. A short trailer for that gives you an idea can be seen for example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyt4UwgMsS0  Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.K.U. 

******
Translated by Nana, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

Akechi Denki Interview (2000)

The following text and images are from the book 日本緊縛師列伝, edited by Sanada Nobuyuki and published in 2000 (see an earlier post here ). Text and interview by Nozawa Na [1]

The translation is done by Emi Kinako, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks. Thank you for your help once again Emi!

***********

cover Nihon

Akechi Denki is respected as the most skilled performer in the kinbaku world. Unfortunately, I have never seen his shows myself, but according to rumours they are astonishing. Whips and candles are the norm, and sometimes models are shaken from side to side mid-suspension. Of course, the girls end up crying and wailing, and some of them lose consciousness…

I had the opportunity to meet this person. To be honest I was extremely nervous before meeting him. This was because- I may be exposing my naïveté- I felt as if I were about to expose my lack of knowledge about SM and kinbaku. The only knowledge that I have is some names of kinbakushi and a basic idea what they do.

Of course, since I work in this industry I do have a strong interest in the world of SM and kinbaku. However, I find myself hesitating to go and investigate further. I can’t explain the reason behind that very well, but I think it is because of the specific “world” SM has – I would say that it is a psychological world – I find myself doubting if I can understand that world fully. This insecurity stems from my strong interest in the world.

interview

With that said, I was extremely anxious when meeting Akechi Denki during this shoot. It was my first time meeting a nawashi, let alone seeing shibari be properly done. There was no way for me not to be nervous. However, when I actually met Mr. Akechi, he quickly blew away any kind of anxiety I had.

He is, simply put, a very nice person. When you see Mr. Akechi in SM magazines, he seems like the type that you can’t get close to; this may be because he wears sunglasses and his expressions are completely hidden. In reality, he isn’t like that at all. He is very gentle-mannered, and made me feel at ease. When you speak to him, you start to wonder if this man is truly the Akechi Denki, the man behind the torturous kinbaku shows. But of course, that was until the shibari session was about to start…

The featured model of the day was Mr. Akechi’s assistant as well as partner for his kinbaku shows, Ms. Kyojo Yumeji [2]. She is 26 years old, and has been working for Mr. Akechi for 2 years. She has been appearing in his shows quite often, but this is her first time being a model for a shoot. It seemed that she was feeling a little nervous.

“I’m sorry I asked you so suddenly. But all you need to do is what we always do.”

I saw Mr. Akechi cheer his model up. With those words, the nervousness disappeared from her face. It seems like nothing, but this kind of care makes a woman feel very happy.

The shibari session began. The calm and warm Mr. Akechi had disappeared. The man standing in front of us was a serious bakushi at work, working the rope into the female form.

bild 2-1

The first item Mr. Akechi put in his hands was not asanawa, but red cotton rope. After tying Ms. Yumeji’s arms behind her, Mr. Akechi pulled on the rope that was in his hand. The model was tied down tightly, yet the rope slipped right off of her body! The art of untying without touching on the rope used to tie the pattern. I wasn’t aware of this practice, but this is the practice of hojojutsu, something Mr. Akechi is currently working on.

”Hojojutsu [捕縛術] is something that began in the Edo period, under the rule of one of Edo’s five great shoguns, Tsunayoshi [1646–1709]. This is when the class system of warriors, farmers, artisans, and tradesmen was established. There were different ways to tie members of the different classes. Every feudal clan had its own secret system of tying. Depending on the criminal, there were different rules for tying; which way the rope was to go, what colour was to be used, and so on. For example, once a warrior was tied in a pattern for commoners. This was considered extremely humiliating and disgraceful. The warrior committed seppukuin order to pay respects to his monarch. Because of that, the ruling monarch filed a complaint to the shogunate government, and the person that had tied the warrior was beheaded. Tying was one of the eighteen budo arts. It was said that if you hadn’t mastered this art, you could not call yourself a warrior.”

Mr. Akechi was generous in showing us his tying techniques. Though he was tying complicated patterns, all he had to do to untie the model was to pull one section of the rope. It almost felt like I was watching an elaborate magic show.

When showing this technique while performing at “Department H”, he suspended the model in a sakasa-ebi-zuri(upside down shrimp) and elevated her to a height that he couldn’t reach. The model was somewhat lowered and then dropped sideways into an ougi[fan], and finally into a sakasa-ippon-ashi-zuri[upside down one leg suspension]. He had demonstrated three patterns, two transitions in total. All the patterns were done in the hojojutsu style, so in the end, the ropes slipped right off of the model.

“It took me three months to perfect the ties for that show. Hojo-shibari is extremely difficult. It’s relatively easy for anyone to tie the ropes very tightly so that it’s safe. But it’s extremely difficult to tie someone who weighs fifty, sixty kilos, make sure they’re secured, and then be able to tug on the rope so that everything undoes itself…”

bild 2

Hojojutsu is considered a secret technique, and much of it has been passed down only by oral tradition. Therefore, it isn’t an easy task to decode its details. So far, Mr. Akechi has decoded twenty-seven styles, but that took him five years. The effort is admirable. There is a reason behind his passion for hojojutsu.

“This kind of stylized shibari is uniquely Japanese. There are records of rope being used in western style torture, but nothing that is specific to class systems. I consider this a Japanese tradition. We can say that it’s a tradition of shibari. I have a strong urge to maintain it as a form of traditional Japanese art.”

Says Mr. Akechi. Though hojojutsu is something uniquely Japanese, due to the fact that its history has been only orally transmitted, many have started to forget its existence. Perhaps this urge to maintain the art comes from the fact that he is a bakushi. In the past two years, he has been performing overseas as well; this comes from his hopes to spread the culture of rope internationally.

bild 2

However, it’s important to remember the erotic aspect of rope. Mr. Akechi says that the foundation of his ropes lie within the kinbaku used during SM scenes. The reason behind Mr. Akechi being allured into the world of shibari was a magazine targeted towards “maniacs”.

“I was in the third grade when I first came across Kitan Club. I came by it at a rental book store in my neighbourhood. I still remember feeling shaken by a photo of a woman being tied (laughs).”

From then on, he hid away and read copies of Kitan Club. It was around then that he started to want to tie women up. However, this fantasy took ten years to become a reality. He was nineteen years old, and faced with a sudden tragedy.

“My family went bankrupt when I entered high school. My parents basically sold me off, telling me to work for a craftsman for five to six years. Two other apprentices were there as well. Their salary was five-thousand yen, and mine was five-hundred. I learned that my parents had agreed with the craftsman to send them the rest of my salary. I got letters from my little sister, who’d been sent off to work as a baby sitter all the time. She told me how hard life was on her, and how lonely she was. I also saw dried up tears on the letters. My sister was either in the first or second grade. It was unbearable. I ran away from my job two years later. I wanted to establish myself. I worked under different masters, became independent at eighteen, and half a year later, I had one hundred people working for me.”

Two years later, he had built his own home, and brought his family back together. His vitality is unbelievable. This story seems unrelated to kinbaku, but there is actually a strong connection. The eagerness to bring his family back together translates right back into his eagerness in relation to kinbaku. Without that experience, there would be no “Kinbakushi Akechi Denki.”

bild 3

“I experienced tying for the first time when I was nineteen years old. My partner was a woman I met in a bar. Unlike now, there weren’t any SM clubs. I had to “hunt” in order to find myself a partner. It would start by a meeting at a bar and a conversation. You would find someone who’s your type, and ask her if she’d like to go to the movies. You would date for about half a year, and then go to a hotel. There, you would tell her that you’re interested in tying and show her your rope. Most girls ran away the moment they saw my rope. I repeated that process over and over. Sadomasochism was still considered abnormal, so most people didn’t know what a sadist would do to you. In other words, they’d think that you were broken, that you would go around stabbing people on the street, and look at you that way. I would speak to maybe one hundred women, and maybe twenty would come to a hotel with me. Out of them, oneperson would let me tie them. So, after speaking to a hundred women, only one of them would let me tie them.”

bild 3

One out of a hundred. The low chances are mind blowing. If it was me, I imagine I would forcefully tie any woman that had followed me to the hotel. But Mr. Akechi is different; he is a true gentleman.

“I wouldn’t do it to someone who didn’t want to. I can’t tie if there isn’t any love behind it. So, I tried my best not to scare them.For example, I started by using neckties, or sashes used for yukata instead of rope. I took steps so that they get used to the rope. I also try to create an atmosphere where the woman wants to get tied. I’ll show them patterns and tell them ‘There’s beautiful patterns like these, I’m sure you’d look great in this pattern.’ I would have a full-length mirror around, too. I would keep it at that. I would untie them, give them a hug, and tell them ’Thank you, you looked beautiful.’ ”

So far, it seems as if Mr. Akechi is the one who is doing the serving.

“Ha ha, that might be true. But the top has to put in a lot effort. Otherwise you won’t be able to find a good bottom. You need to pour in all the effort and service until they become your bottom.”

The service he speaks of is to heighten the bottom’s characteristics as a bottom. You have to go to such lengths to find yourself a bottom.

“You can only find a bottom by using your money, time, brains, and effort. Submissive women are like diamonds. Actually; you spend even more money, effort, and time on them, so they are more precious than diamonds. That’s why you need to love them,” says Mr. Akechi. His passion towards submissive women has not changed to this date. “You’re able to have a great scene because you’re in it with someone you have fallen in love with. In other words: You can’t tie them unless there’s love behind it. Even to this day, when I perform, I only think about the person I’m tying. When I’m tying, I’m only looking at the model. I only speak with the model. By doing so, your feelings go through to them. When that happens, you’re able to perform a great show where both of your hearts are connected.”

Speaking of performances, let’s have Mr. Akechi tell us how he became a rigger and performer.

The opportunity rose about twenty years ago. When viewing an underground theatre-company’s experimental SM show, he befriended one of the members of the company. That friendship led to him helping out at the shows. At first, he was simply a “maniac” (a fan of the SM world) that was helping out. However, audiences began to request his appearance, and he began performing hour-long shibari shows after the main performance.

“The kind of shibari I practice during performances is for the spectators. It’s different from what I do in my private life. For examples, in my private practice, the intention isn’t to show off. I can wrap the rope around the bottom’s body freely. All that matter is that the bottom gets a sense of being bound. But when I’m performing, I’m given an hour, I have to tie as beautifully as I can, and suspend the model to her limits.”

He ties his models beautifully, but edges them to their physical and psychological limits. Of course, danger is something that flickers in the background.

“It’s true that there are risks of danger when I’m performing. I’m tying in front of an audience, so I can’t undo my ties. I’ve made mistakes in the past. An inexperienced model injured her shoulder, and her arm went numb. But those kinds of mistakes made me the rigger I am today.”

Though Mr. Akechi mentions he becomes heavily emotionally involved during his performances, he maintains a sense of coolness during his performances. That is because there are certain risks that are constantly behind the performances.

There are times when Mr. Akechi performs three times a day. Since he’s so enthusiastic about performing, there must be an allure that he cannot deny.

“It’s when the girls’ facial expressions make an extreme change. They really do change. That gets me. It makes them seem adorable, and I want to hug them instantly. Other than that, when a girl comes over and over, or when they’ve been tortured, I can’t hold myself together. There’s times when the bottom’s crying out of joy and comes and hugs me. That gets me, too. It’s a sense of connection, rather than excitement. I feel as if I can get connected with the girls on another level when I perform on stage.”

bild 5

At today’s shoot – or rather, I should call it a live performance – in the final scenes, I felt as if I witnessed what Mr. Akechi told me. Ms. Yumeji, freed from a suspension, looked as if she was about to lose consciousness. Out of the blue, Mr. Akechi pinched her nipple. In that moment, I heard Ms. Yumeji scream out of pain. Her body began to wince, and she was moaning. My attention had been taken aback by the shibari, but before I knew it, both the model and rigger were heated up, and a full-on scene was taking place before us. This was no longer a simple shoot.

I swallowed my breath as I kept watching. I have no idea what’s about to happen. The tension was high; just like a kinbaku performance.

With her nipple still pinched, Ms. Yumeji rolled to her back. I can’t hear her voice but she was breathing very heavily. Her facial expression told us that she was suffering. Mr. Akechi’s open hand begins to press onto her stomach, over and over. I started to hear her moan again. I heard this later, but apparently Mr. Akechi was placing pressure onto her diaphragm to send oxygen into her system. In her case, by doing so, she is able to drop into sub space easily.

Next, Mr. Akechi’s hand slapped the floor next to her ear. As he did so, her body began to tremble, though he wasn’t touching her directly. The trembling became harder and harder. With Mr. Akechi slapping the floor, Ms. Yumeji’s body began to make bigger flinches. With one final shudder, she led out a scream and fell. It seemed as if she had come as hard as she could. Mr. Akechi held her tightly. I found myself being jealous of the connection they shared.

“It felt amazing,” says Ms. Yumeji about today’s experience.

“If I get to feel that good for hours and hours, I wouldn’t mind doing a shoot again. You only get to experience this feeling for an hour during shows.”

She seemed very content. But I had one question. Why did her body react the way it did when Mr. Akechi was slapping the floor?

“I made her get used to it. I trained her so that when she hears that sound, her body reacts the way it does. Just like Pavlov’s dog,” was Mr. Akechi’s answer. I wondered if that was really possible, but since I’d seen it for myself, I have to believe him. I hear about his other shows, and they don’t cease to surprise me.

Out of all the things I heard, the most impressive thing was how there was a model who flipped into a completely different personality when she was being tied (it turned out that she suffered from dissociative disorder). A lot of women visit Mr. Akechi’s salon Garashawith issues and questions, as well as requests to be tied up by Mr. Akechi. The aforementioned model was one of them. When Mr. Akechi shooed out the separate personality, the woman lost consciousness, and regained her main personality. It sounds unbelievable, but after seeing Mr. Akechi’s performance, I can be convinced that this may be true.

However, it isn’t only women that fall into that kind of state. Mr. Akechi himself tells me that he faces weird situations during shows.

“There are times when the rope runs and does its own thing. My hand is simply on the rope. I’m not there, and I’m just obeying the ropes orders. It’s a very strange sensation. I get sucked into it. It really feels like I’m giving every bit of my body and soul, my life, and my will to fight. I feel like I do what I do because I want to see how far I can go.”

This kind of situation happens about once a year or less. Perhaps it is something that only one who has reached the top of rope can experience. It would be amazing to be a part of the audience if that were to happen.

Lastly, since we are entering the new millennia, I asked Mr. Akechi about his goals and ambitions.

“I want to set up a project related to hojojutsu by the fall. By next year, I want to compile everything into a book, so I want to look for someone to study the art with me. Also, performances. I obviously want to continue performing domestically, but I have plans on performing overseas in the fall as well.”

Time is not a changing factor for Mr. Akechi’s passion towards performing.

 

bild 1

***

Kyojyo Yumeji Interview

That day, Ms. Kyojo Yumeji accompanied Mr. Akechi as his assistant. She is twenty-six years old, and it is her first time modelling for a photo-shoot. However, she has been Akechi’s show model numerous times, and there are times where she fills in for other models.

“It’s not rare for models to get their period, or get sick. In those cases, I fill in as a model. That happens a lot for performances (laughs). But I’ve never done a photo-shoot before, so I’m a little nervous.”

It’s been two years since her and Mr. Akechi first met.

“A girl I know modelled for Sensei (edit: She calls Mr. Akechi Sensei). And then I heard he was hosting a SM party. I asked her to let me tag along. I was a little interested in SM.”

At that first party she attended, she was mistaken as someone else’s slave and got whipped, hot wax dripped on her, and tied. She had not experienced any serious play before. It’s unbelievable that this was her first experience.

“The end of the century was coming close, so I figured I should experience SM for myself.”

She was interested in the world of SM, but not that serious.

The first time she was tied by Mr. Akechi was after the SM party. In her afterglow, she mentioned “I want to be suspended next time!” to which Mr. Akechi answered, “Do you want to get suspended now?” She ended up getting suspended then and there.

“Everything was happening so suddenly. Then, it turned out that I was going to appear in his ‘Phantom Show’! I was suspended, whipped, dripped with wax, I couldn’t believe how fast things were going.”

It was around the same time she started filling in for other models.

“I heard that there was going to be a performance at a theatre, so I went to help out backstage. But the model suddenly got sick, and I took her place. I’d only been tied by Sensei four times. And there were so many people in the audience. I had no idea what was going on. But Sensei went ahead and twirled me around, me suspended mid-air. My foot once hit the lights, and I was terrified. After that, I’ve been scared of being twirled around.”

This wasn’t the only time she had frightening experiences. There’s plenty more.

“Sensei uses daggers in his shows, but the other day that dagger scratched my throat, and it still hurts. And once when we were at a party, he found a pulley and said: ‘Let’s try hanging from the neck.’ So I got suspended from my neck. It was hard enough when I was on my toes, but he started suspending further. My body went off the ground! That was rough. I was breathing like I was having an asthmatic attack, and Sensei boasted: ‘This is how people breathe when they are about to die’, and showed me off. I was about to black out. I checked afterwards, and there were clear rope marks on my neck.”

Though she goes through such experiences, she does not leave Mr. Akechi’s side. In fact, she is currently his assistant, takes care of his scheduling, and plans his shows. How is this possible?

“No matter what happens, I feel safe when I’m with Sensei. When I’m feeling mentally vulnerable, he takes the time to listen to me. He treats me like a real human being, and not only a play partner. That makes me happy.”

I feel like her words answer any questions. Her trust and respect towards Mr. Akechi. Those emotions allow her to withstand the hardships of being his model. On top of that, she gets to feel another sense of emotion;

“Sensei’s way of tying is indeed, hard, but there’s a sense of ecstasy that overthrows it. When I’m playing with him, I feel like the way I do while having sex. Actually, it’s much deeper than what you can feel with your genitals.”

And to this day, she gets tied by Akechi Denki.

 

Notes by Bergborg

[1] The editor adds about Nozawa Na: ”A superstar of the erotic world, Nozawa Na has various nom de plumes, works also with erotic photography and directs indie videos.”

[2] Kyojo Yumeji (京城夢路) also appears for example in the akechi-photobook by Yoshiki Saitoh (se an earlier post on this blog here). There is a live-scene with Kyojo Yumeji and Akechi Denki in the DVD called 明智伝鬼の世界 8.

******

Translated by Emi Kinako, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

 

 

Akechi Denki: Interview in SM Secret Club (1997)

bild 1-1.JPG

 

Akechi Denki: Interview in SM Secret Club (1997)

In 1997, the magazine SM秘密俱楽部 (SM Secret Club) published an in-depth interview with Akechi Denki.

In 2009, NuitdeTokyo made a translation into English of this interview for Osada Steve’s website TokyoBound: [ http://www.tokyobound.com/blog/?p=245 ]

I have been looking for this magazine for quite some time, and recently was able to get my hands on it and add it to my collection.

I asked NuitdeTokyo and Osada Steve for permission to republish the translation of the interview here on the KinbakuBooks blog, which they generously allowed me to.

Thank you!

***

Introduction from TokyoBound

The following interview is from volume 6 of SM 秘密俱楽部 (SM Secret Club) published in 1997. It used to be a relatively minor player within the Tsukasa Shobo Publishing portfolio – ranking behind magazine titles like SM Fan and SM Frontier, that left their mark on Showa era SM publishing.

After a messy change of ownership, Tsukasa Shobo went bankrupt in 2007. The interviewer for the article signs as Tajima Osamu, a fairly common name. An internet search hasn’t come up with any other SM-related works under that name.

Interestingly enough, the article includes mention of Osada Seminar pioneered by Osada Eikichi .

Thanks to NuitdeTokyo (NdT for short) we can bring you now the English translation of this interview. Next to Master K, NdT is probably the most avid collector of Japanese SM literature. In the past, NdT has discovered another Akechi Denki interview (from ca. 1976) and kindly shared it with us here.

For those unfamiliar with the who’s who’s of the Japanese Shibari and Kinbaku world, both Osada Eikichi (長田英吉) and Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) are considered grandmasters of the art – the former having passed away in 2001, the latter in 2005. The probably last ever interview with Akechi Denki Shi was conducted by Osada Steve (長田スティーブ) for Steve’s own magazine, Fetish Japan, and for SM Sniper, one of the largest surviving SM magazine players, until it folded in January 2009.

Before we now get to the actual story, a few words by NuitdeTokyo:

Throughout the translation I have used the word ‘fetish’ for what the Japanese like to call ‘mania’ because I feel the present usage of the word in Japanese is closer to ‘fetish’ than to ‘mania(c)’. I have also added some notes inside the text (indicated by NdT). The original article also had notes, but I have incorporated their contents in the main corpus.

***

bild 2-1.JPG

Akechi Denki interviewed by Tajima Osamu, in ”SM Secret Club” (1997)

The first magazine specializing in SM and hentai [pervert] material was the highly regarded Kitan Clubwhich started in 1948. Its long-time editor was the legendary Minomura Ko [NdT: please refer to Master K’s excellent book The Beauty of Kinbaku for additional information] who contributed in several ways to this special publication. Alongside with him, many people – some famous, others not – may be called the first generation of post-war Japanese SM. Akechi Denki may then be called part of the second generation.

The first generation was strongly influenced by the war. For example, an enemy ship sank Minomura Ko’s ship and he was left adrift in the Pacific Ocean for many days. It was then, where he promised himself that if he ever made it back alive, “from now on, I will do the things I like”. Also, the author has directly met someone who was working in China as a spy for the communist guerilla, was arrested by the army and subjected to unspeakable torture. The spirit of resistance he nurtured in these conditions blossomed into non-orthodox eroticism. These are people who “have seen” the space between life and death. When compared to the “young” people entering SM from the fashion side, there is a rather wide generation gap.

For the second generation, death was a rare encounter, a seldom seen acquaintance. But obviously, hunger and starvation were there . . .

“At primary school, several levels were crammed into one classroom. When it was time to eat, several students were customarily left alone, as they did not bring a lunch box; they had to do with a glass of water. As for me, it was mainly just rice with a pickled prune on top, but I saw several students in my school year die. At that time, it was nothing strange.”

The family of Akechi Shi was a well-respected family of craftsmen. Thanks to that, its environment was comparatively privileged. But at this time, the term of “war” could still be applied to a food supply situation, which, in an unseen way, was gnawing away at the developing bodies of the young generation. So, several times, Akechi Shi was suspended between life and death. At the same time, as we shall see later, his family was getting closer to financial ruin.

“At the time I was growing. I had an extremely strong interest in the body of women. I had this girl next door to whom I had been close since kindergarten. Together we often played doctor. The fact she did not have a male sex was very strange, as if it had been reduced to a pebble. I did some fairly wild things. After that I was very much attracted to the female bottom. I often peeped into the toilets from the small windows there. I knew in detail all the neighboring public toilets.” (laughs)

While Akechi Shi was already showing in his young years a good deal of lusty curiosity, the encounter with the magazine Kitan Clubtook place while he was in his third year of primary school.

“When I saw this at the old book seller next door, it was an experience I would remember all my life. Flipping the pages, I could see women being tied up, ill-treated, it was shock strong enough to burn my body. As I was clinching my pocket money to purchase the magazine, the shop owner barked at me, “This is not something for kids. What is your name?” and I was forced to write my name and my address (laugh). I was distressed for a moment, and thought of several strategies. A shop close by was not good. And I contemplated asking one of my uncles. Finally, I grabbed my bicycle and went to a book rental shop in the next town and rented a copy of Kitan Club without getting any remark from the shop owner. As soon as I got out of the shop, I started on my bike as fast as I could.”

The young first-time reader of Kitan Club matured rapidly and his first hands-on bondage was in his second year of junior high school. His partner was a younger girl who was living close to the family home of his mother.

“As we had a good relationship, until the third year of junior high school we used to take our bath together. We would play doctor. I would tie her up and make her roll on the ground. But once, we were surprised by her parents and they started chasing me (laugh).”

Be it with a classmate in kindergarten, or with a childhood friend, it appears that Akechi Shi was a “special person” since the youngest of age.

For people who are into fetish, they are doing it as a strictly personal thing, not even disclosing it to their wife or girl friend, and feeling frustrated, can only envy such an early development. Akechi Shi probably has a special gift for attracting women. Even when only doing an interview, this is something you can feel. The black sunglasses, the clothes, very often black, are not a mere show. There are also no complicated conceptual words to try to throw a cloud of smoke at the listener. Akechi Shi tells in a soft voice of its past hard times, stories, which would normally cause people to get very tense. These stories are so interesting that they draw strongly the attention of the listener.

When reading the stories in Ladies Magazine [at that time, Akechi Shi was running a series where average female readers would volunteer to have a first-time SM experience and be tied up], one can only empathize with the amateur volunteer who says, “If it is him, I will let him use my body as he wishes”.

“In SM there is a relation of trust. If the partner does not fully entrust her body with a complete peace of mind that is when accidents do occur. When I am performing shows, I tie rather hard. Of course, I attach the utmost importance to the limits of the partner. As soon as it is finished, I softly embrace the partner while telling her something like “you have been very courageous”. At that time, the thread of the kinbaku snaps, and the model, while shedding big tears, nestles herself against me. At this time, the girl’s expression is really cute.”

Upon hearing this, one can catch a glimpse of the stance of Akechi Shi towards women.

bild 3-1.JPG

When Akechi Shi was in high school, he tried to join the Kendo club of the school but was refused after taking a medical check-up. The rheumatic fever he contracted when he was young was not completely cured. Upon reflection, it was a bad omen.

At the same time, the businesses his father was involved in failed completely and his father disappeared. The house was mortgaged and in fact the entire family was dispersed. Akechi Shi himself was forced to enter into apprenticeship as a house builder. At that time, apprenticeship really meant living as a domestic in the house of the tradesman.

“As we were living in, we had to wake up at 6 am. The atmosphere was a bit like being sent to jail. Of course, it was out of the question to even touch the tools. It was really learning by watching only.”

In the construction business, bullying and bad treatments were also the norm. Up to now there is a scar on the back of Akechi Shi’s right hand, the result of a saw strike by a sempai.

Then, suddenly, when he was 19 he suffered a heart attack. The initial rheumatic fever had left his cardiac valves constricted, which meant that blood was sometimes flowing in reverse direction into the lungs, possibly leading to death.

“When I was told by the doctor that I was not very likely to live beyond thirty years, it all became black in front of my eyes. But being sad would not serve any purpose. I had two younger sisters, which had been entrusted to different relatives. From time to time, I received some letters, there was no explicit mention of loneliness or of things being hard, but one could feel it from the general tone of the letters. And I promised to myself to get again a house where all the family members could live together. If I lived each day with double intensity, even though I may die when I am 30, it would be the same as dying when I was sixty. Very simply, the trick was not to sleep.”

So, he worked while allowing his suffering body only 3 hours of sleep every day. He had to learn his work faster than the others. Soon he turned independent, recruited some available workers, and he became himself manager and bookkeeper. At the top, he had more than 100 employees and before he was 30 he managed to build his own house and bring back his mother, his sisters and even his father.

It was at that time that the SM desires started burning again. Using his worn body as an experiment machine, he furthered his studies of shibari by observing and copying.

When doing shibari, where does the weight of the body creates a tension? In Ebi Shibari, up to where can one bend the body? When doing shibari with rubber bands and you want to test the limits, how long can you leave them in place? All this he managed to understand. “I also did tsuri, I also probably did some absurd shibari patterns. I remember that tying oneself creates a strange feeling of psychological intoxication. As such, I think the S and M are two sides of a single entity.”

“Late at night, when the work place was deserted, I also managed to convince a girl working for the company to let herself be tied. As my heart was bad, I was always wearing a sarashi [a roll of white cotton cloth wrapped around the chest] under my clothes. I took it off and used it to tie up the girl (laugh), as the workplace was often a shop or a department store, we used to roam naked among the counters and the mannequins. I devised quite a number of ‘plays’ at that time. Even for the owner of a business, seducing an employee, because of the future consequences did require a certain amount of boldness. I obtained a good understanding of kinbaku.”

Certainly, there is a special mood when Akechi Shi is holding a woman close to his chest. More importantly, for him, at that time, there was no ‘future consequences’.

“Anyway, I kept thinking that I had only 10 years to live. As for me a girlfriend was someone who accepted to die with me. I was only getting 3–4 hours of sleep per week going for long drives with my girlfriend in the middle of the night. Kissing while driving at mad speed along the edge of a cliff. This is one way of trying one’s luck. I was not sure whether this girl would go along. But after, she slipped in the space under the steering wheel to suck my cock while I was driving. While I was getting a blowjob, sleepiness overwhelmed me and before I realized it, I had bumped into a village house. We were both completely naked (laugh).”

bild 1.JPG

Apart from work and SM another thing was absorbing his attention: billiard. Akechi Shi was playing as a professional gambler and hustler. People were betting like on players the way they bet on horse racing. In that world every evening, tens of thousands of dollars would change hands. If you lose probably someone will squash your hands.

“I had this guy, wearing a soft hat and a muffler, who looked as if he would give you some amphetamine to liven up the atmosphere. As he would be overtaken by sheer energy of the opponent used to increase his concentration power by training bare feet after having spread ice on the ground below the billiard table.”

In fact it was a real world that looked like a movie. Today, billiard is considered a sport. At that time it was supposed to be a gambling activity with a strong scent of underground. “Somehow, it was close to SM,” says Akechi Shi with a wry smile.

Just at that time, Japan entered into its period of high growth. Akechi Shi spent his third decade living at double or treble speed. But this way of living finally exerted its toll.

“As I turned 30, I started spitting blood and was taken to the hospital.”

But when he was fully resting in the hospital, unknown to him, a lot of things were happening. His father who had taken over the management of the company after his son was hospitalized started to quarrel with the employees. Akechi Shi was already married for the first time, but at that time the bad relationship between his wife and his mother and father became apparent. And simultaneously, the business of the company started to turn bad.

“The employees came to the hospital and protested that they could not work under that guy (my father). My father protested. The debts started to accumulate. My wife was crying. Although I was not supposed to receive visitors, there was mayhem around my bed. In the end, my wife left my newborn child in my hospital room and disappeared.”

“I felt obliged to do something which was really beyond my strength at the time; and tottering like a sleep walker, I wandered in the middle of the night around the hospital. Also at that time, I often went through near death experiences. I was floating close to the ceiling of the room. I could even see the top of the heads of the family members in the room.”

Finally through a miracle performed by a very good heart surgeon, Akechi Shi managed to recover. But upon leaving the hospital, his company was bankrupt, he had to relinquish the home he had built.

“My father had again in a hurry entered into dubious speculations. I asked him if he wanted again the family to be dispersed and I started to hit him. But my father, normally stubborn and with strong arms, collapsed on the floor and covered in dirt started to cry. Seeing this I also started to cry. It is only a house. We shall build another one, let’s not worry.”

Akechi Shi stirred himself back into action. It was then the second half of the seventies and at that time he made a fateful encounter.

bild 3.JPG

Sakurada Denjiro, who was at the time leading an underground theater group named Sekai Gekijo [Theater of the World] had just established GSG Planning to organize SM shows. The year was 1978. Sakurada was a frequent visitor of OSada Seminar, but in terms of SM, he was really an amateur. In short, he was collecting huge amounts of money by enticing people to come and watch a show that was little more than scandalous theater. Seeing this, Akechi Shi was utterly disappointed.

“It was really a bluff. It was only a substitute which could not satisfy people looking for the real thing. At the end of the show I manage to talk to Sakurada. ‘What you are doing is no good,’ I told him. I even sent him a whole bunch of Kitan Club back issues. One thing leading to the other, I ended up joining his theater group as a Shibarishi or supervisor.”

Contrary to expectation, underground theater and SM have an unexpected affinity. Terayama Shuji [head of the underground theater group Tenjosajiki (The Upper Gallery)] used to say that theater is a machine for “physical self-punishment”. In 1970 at the launch party of Kachikujin Yapoo [Yapoo: The Human Cattle] the members of his Tenjosajikigroup staged an SM show [NdT: Kachikujin Yapoo is a very famous anticipation SM novel looking at things from the male sub point of view. Written by Numa Shozo, it was originally published as a series in Kitan Club between 1957 and 1959 and was praised by Mishima Yukio. The first book edition took place in 1970 due to censorship issues and the article refers to the launch party of that edition. There was a French translation in 2007, which received the Sade literary prize in Paris. ISBN 978-2268055664 for volume 1/3. I am not aware of English versions although the book is widely referenced by scholars of Japanese subculture. The term Yapoo has become widely used especially by makers of male sub movies.] Many theater groups also included female actors in gyaku-tsuriand suffering physical punishment as a means of creating performances with a strong visual impact. The Scandalous Theater Group led by Tamai was also one the groups specializing in SM performances. In terms of subculture, it was not, in itself, very surprising that underground theater groups were feeling close to SM as the “front line of sexuality”.

bild 4.JPG

CSG Planningeagerly introduced many of the plays that Akechi Denki had been imagining over the years. Progressively what had been a secondary project became the main focus. The evenings where, after the theater show, a real shibari show was taking place were very well attended. They became the selling point of CSG shows, starting a tradition that continued until today with Akechi Shi live shows. At the same time, Akechi Shi finally adopted the Akechi Denki name.

“To tie up the very popular actress Kurokawa Mayumi was a really good occasion. She said she really had no M/sub tendencies at all. She was really good looking. As for the shibari part of the shows they did not really have a fixed program, it was more like an ad-lib improvisation based on the feeling of the place, a show where the tying was really constructed live. To show a different tie every time is really, really difficult. But if you feel like doing it, it is really enjoyable,” explains Akechi Shi, reminiscing on his time with CSG Planning.

After the CSG period, Akechi Shi mainly appeared at Tokyo SM, SM Bomber,and SM Suizokan [SM Aquarium]. [These three series of shows resulted from a split of CSG planning.] Among those, the extraordinary performances organized by SM Bomber are still being talked about in fetish circles. There was also an obvious friendship between all these related groups, and Akechi Shi was sometimes invited as a joint guest performer and he could display some rope action of which he was rather proud. In other words, Akechi Shi continued to display energy three times as high as a normal human being, and, given the occasion, he would aggressively deepen his affinity for the fetish world. This is probably a better way of looking at things. Among the fetish people (without limiting oneself to SM) there is often a certain difficulty to act and a feeling of being bottled up which was not at all apparent with Akechi Shi.

If CSG Planning was what made him become Akechi Denki, SM Bomber is the place where he developed and polished his skills.

SM Bomberdissolved itself after 2 years and Akechi Shi could not avoid a quiet period for a short while. But the fans he had accumulated since the time of CSG did not stop there.

“At the time of CSG Planning, there was an Association of the Special Members which was a kind of circle devoted to fetish performances and I took over the duties of that circle. The circle members told me, ‘Please start your activities again,’ and this was the start of the Akechi Denki Kinbaku Photography Club. By the way, many of the members were not so young and could not attend so easily, or had relocated, and there were many setbacks on the budget side. Intended as a way of getting new members and doing live shows again, the Phantom Show was started in 1987. It is the predecessor to the present [NdT: in 1996 when the article was written] Studio Phantom. During the Phantom Shows, I did a number of tsuri-otosu [吊り落とす, suspension drops] which consist in letting the model drop like a stone from a tsurito within a few inches off the ground. When falling, the koshi-nawa bites sharply. When you look at it, it is very impressive. But if you make a mistake, the woman’s head will hit the ground and you have a big accident. The technique requires good timing and full control of the rope tension and not many people can attempt it. There were also times when I would throw bits of concrete at the tied model so she could just dodge them at the last second. The fear-frozen look of the model and the open mouths of the surprised spectators was something I had never enough of. Maybe I went sometimes too far (laugh).”

Although CSG Planningdid close, Akechi Shi did not lose any of his boldness. Right now [i.e. 1996], Akechi Denki and Studio Phantomare doing shows in the well-known SM club called Nakano Queen [NdT: the space still exists today in 2009]. In addition, Akechi Shi is managing five other circles and also takes part in numerous films and videos.

“One of the projects is a collaboration between SM and Noh [NdT: the traditional Japanese mask theater form]. The aim is to show the beauty of Kinbaku in the context of Noh dance. Of course it is a fantasy, as I will not be able to rent the Tokyo National Theater to show my SM, so I have to find a method to make it work. It is still a secret. Please come and see the show.” [NdT: we are not sure to what show Akechi Shi is alluding in that passage.]

Akechi Shi has in the past done joint shows with a pianist. And one can think that those joint performances with a feeling of remix are contributing to open up and expose the possibilities of SM. So we will wish Akechi Shi all the success in his venture.

 

 

Minomura Kou: Poems in SM Kitan (1979 and 1980)

bild 1-1.JPG

SM Kitan was an SM magazine published 1975–1980, with lots of high-quality materials. We will be returning to it here on the blog.

In this post, I want to share some poetic texts written by Minomura Kou, accompanied by an illustration (also by Minomura). This was a recurring feature in the magazine. The material I have chosen is from SM Kitan issues #9, #10, #12 (1979), and #1 (1980).

The translations are done by rish. THANK YOU again!

****************************************************************************

bild 4

Hey, one more time 
Terribly sweaty all over the body
Sticky and slimy wet
Never experienced such cruel things
Being pinched and hit…
Being tickled and hurt…
You played around with me mercilessly
You were great tonight
Manly and violent…
Ah, that’s why I was on fire
It was good, it made me go crazy
Hey, mess me up like that one more time

 

 

bild 2

Rope-love blues

Ah, the rope… the friction…

If I move my hips even a little

It presses hard on my embarrassing spot

It’s painful…

It’s very tight

”Getting wet, right?”

Please don’t say such embarrassing things

You know I’m very sensitive

You are mean, such a cruel person

Please remove the rope already

No, I want you

Please torment me more with your body!

 

bild 3-1

Sweet cry
Hey, forgive me… Be patient with me…
The arms hurts… and it stops the blood
The tips of the fingers are getting cold
Tops of the boobs too
You treated me so violently
I am throbbing, aching
Hey, it’s enough now, right
It’s hard… and painful…
No, it’s not that I dislike it
It’s not that I dislike it but now, now…
Hold me
Hey, please hold me…

 

bild 3

The cry frowned upon
Ah, don’t look
Don’t look at me so much
You do know that I’m shy
You are mean, looking at me from behind
The touch of your breath tickles me
Oh, don’t touch
No, no, no…
I’m too loud, you say, but it’s impossible not to
Because you are too good
Yes, there, harder
Ah, you may, you may look

 

– Translations by rish, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

 

Yukimura Haruki: Scent of Immorality (1985)

The text and photos below are taken from a magazine called ”Monthly Knockup”, published in Osaka. It contains mainly advertisments for sexual services (with phone-numbers and prices). From 1985, it is the earliest publication I have found featuring material using the name of Yukimura Haruki (雪村春樹).

Thank you inid for your work with the translation!

For some previous posts about Yukimura here on the blog, see: https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/category/yukimura-haruki/

 

bild 4.JPG

********************************************************************* 

Scent of Immorality – The Story of a Woman

by Yukimura Haruki (Text and Photo)

From the magazine 月刊ノックアップ  [”Monthly KNOCKUP”]

Issue 3, 1985

”The Art of SM Hunting” Serial Story, No. 6

Last spring, I met a woman for taking pictures. Because I got introduced to her through an acquaintance, I hadn’t yet heard any details of her background. Judging by her looks, she was just an ordinary girl, approximately 20 years old – generally she gave an impression that she had nothing to do with SM. First, I got her naked and peered through the lens of my camera. I guessed that she hadn’t had much experience with men, as the shape of her body seemed like it had hardly yet reached full maturity. Why did such a girl have an interest in SM?

Since I had agreed not to question her about private matters, I tried to keep the conversation harmless.

“You look young, since when have you been interested in SM?”

“I guess I was on the third grade of middle school [i.e. 14–15 years old] when I first heard about SM. A boy in my class showed me a magazine.”

“So, you’ve been interested ever since?”

“Not really. Umm, it was more like I thought about whether it would feel good doing those kinds of things.”

“Had you already had your first experiences?”

“Not at all. I was a late bloomer so I didn’t lose my virginity until after I had graduated high school.”

“And when did you first try SM-play?”

“I guess about a year ago. My boyfriend at the time was crazy about SM and said he would break up with me if I didn’t do it, so I kind of had to.”

“What type of play did you do?”

“He would tie me with ropes, shove adult toys in me… different kinds of things.”

“How did it make you feel?”

“At first I really hated it because it was only painful, but he really liked it and after doing it a few times I started getting it.”

“So, you prefer being the one getting tormented? I mean, are you a masochist?”

“Yes. I don’t really like torturing men. What a pity, ha ha.”

“Do you also get excited through regular sex?”

“Yes, I do. But right now, I only do SM.”

“Well, I’ll soon take some pictures, so let’s get ready. Today I‘ll do some simple bondage [karui shibari] with you.”

We talked in this manner and started taking pictures. As expected, when I tied her, she was somewhat startled and the air was charged with tension. Of course, you could think it was because she wasn’t with her usual partner, but with me, a stranger. But no, rather, it was the situation itself that had a sense of novelty, and that made her really ashamed. As she was showing signs of hesitation, I asked her to make a daring pose.

“Can you spread your ass a little bit more? Move your legs further apart.”

“I don’t like that! I can’t do it, it’s embarrassing.”

“You’re too aware of the camera. Maybe thinking of your boyfriend tormenting you could make it easier?”

“How should I do it?”

“Open your legs fully.”

I pulled the rope running through her crotch, letting it bite even deeper into her genitalia.

“Aa… aa… it hurts! Please be gentle.”

She wiggled her ass. It seemed that she was starting to get the feeling.

“Got it, OK! Now, should we try to change the pose?”

“Wha-what are you gonna do? Fa-fast…”

She was getting more and more excited and while still being a little overwhelmed by her demeanor, I finished the job.

This is something I often think about: It seems to me that women somehow have a stronger obsession to explore sexuality, compared to men. What do you readers think?

*****************************************************

Translation: inid

 

 

Akechi Denki visiting Europe (1998)

sniper cover akechi.JPG

Akechi Denki visiting Europe (1998)

Japanese-inspired erotic rope bondage is now a widespread subculture in Europe. In the last few years, we have also seen a number of Japanese bakushi visiting Europe to give workshops, master-classes, private tuition and make performances. This has had a huge impact.

In this blog-post I share an article written by Ayano Katsuragi for the magazine SM Sniper (January 1999). In addition to her writing, Ayano Katsuragi collaborated as a model for example with Nureki Chimuo, Osada Eikichi and Yukimura Haruki. You can read more about her here: http://smpedia.com/index.php?title=桂木綾乃

The topic for her article is Akechi’s first trip to the Netherlands that took place in 1998 (July 25th – August 1st). (Akechi returned for a second visit during the De Mask EuroPerve-party in 1999, together with Raika, Randa Mai, Mira Kurumi, Mai Itoh and Kanda Tsubaki. But that is a story for another time.)

I have been in contact with the manager of Club Doma, and some Dutch and German rope-friends, and hope later to be able to add some material from this visit as reported in some European SM-publictions.

A great THANK YOU to rish for her work with the translation.

Enjoy!

**************************

bild 3.JPG

Katsuragi Ayano: Bound up in The Netherlands

Akechi Denki, the top name of Kinbaku stage shows, was invited to go to Europe to perform a Kinbaku session. A session that was even written about in the general press. Assisting him is Katsuragi Ayano, who has written down her thoughts about this experience, accompanied here by Handa Ryosuke’s gorgeous photos.

It’s been a while. It’s Ayano. A while ago, I wrote about my experiences in the column ”Ayano no taikendan”, but it’s been four years since I somewhat mysteriously disappeared from Sniper’s pages. It’ll become too long if I wrote about what’s happened since last time, so I’ll just write about the very interesting things that happened this summer.

It started with a phone call from Akechi-sensei.

‘How are you? Are you doing well?’

It was Saturday afternoon and I was in a sort of in an idle slumber when suddenly, he asked me a question: ‘Won’t you come with me to The Netherlands?’

A model would follow Akechi-sensei to The Netherlands and show what Japanese Kinbaku is.

After some further conversation about the details, it seemed like a very interesting project that would allow me to enjoy SM in The Netherlands.

I said yes right away, because it meant I could go to a famous torture museum I had heard about and become fascinated by. Also, I could be some kind of good-will ambassador. From there it was a busy two weeks with preparations for the trip, and then – on to Narita Airport.

25 July

We assembled at Narita Airport at 8.20 in the morning. Before that, I had no idea who the other people coming with us were, but it turned out I had met all of them in one way or another already. Everyone’s magnificent.

First of all, there were some people from the company that organised this trip – Square Ship (they have produced ”Hana no onnazumou” etc); The producer of a cat fight film, Nakano Tadao; A photographer and writer whose work is featured in this report, Handa Ryosuke; And a dominatrix, Kuronuki Hyouko. There was a huge interest in going on this trip, even from ordinary people, but it’s hard to take leave for a week on such short notice with plans changing and so on. There were also people who were going to meet up with us in The Netherlands (from England, Portugal, Los Angeles). It felt so international and I was very excited.

The plane took off at noon and we arrived the same day just past three o’ clock at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. I was a bit surprised at immigration control, because they checked the persons before us, but let us go straight through without checking us. It’s a shame because I would have wanted a stamp. And also, what if I was an atrocious terrorist? Such big-hearted people, I thought.

We met up with the rest of the group and took the shuttle bus to hotel in The Hague. The view from the window was even more beautiful than I had imagined. I thought that the houses were so cute because they all looked the same; it made me feel that I was really in Europe.

The hotel was just as luxurious as I’d heard it was, but I was overwhelmed the most by the view of the sea. I hadn’t associated The Netherlands with the sea and I was at loss of words when I saw the seaside view, the little shops, and the merry-go-round. It will stay bright outside because The Netherlands is in a high latitude, and you won’t get all sticky from the breeze because there is not much humidity. We had dinner at a restaurant by the seaside and got acquainted with each other and enjoyed the view of the setting sun.

akechi ayano hotel view.JPG

Experiences at the torture museum

26 July

It was time to visit my beloved torture museum. I’ve mentioned this before, but I had a history teacher in high school that would tell me all sorts of trivia. Since he was a history teacher, he’d tell me about witch-hunts and the types of torture that was used during that time and I would borrow books from him about those kinds of things. The day before the graduation ceremony, he called me out. I remember thinking if I’d done anything bad, he wasn’t my class teacher after all, but I was nervous. He gave me a graduation present. It was a book called ”The world history of torture”. Thinking back, he must have seen through me… Anyway I’ve liked it since I was little.

I was surprised at how plain the museum looked. There it was, in the middle of town. It was pretty old and intricately built. They say people were actually tormented here in the olden days. There were many instruments of torture displayed and descriptions of how they were used. There would be guillotine executions announced at the square and the people would play football with the chopped-off heads. The guide-lady told us this quite cheerfully; I thought she was quite strange. While waiting for a sentence, they would cram the prisoners in a tiny jail-cell (barely 2 sqm) with fresh wounds. They also used stones, some of which were laying around in the museum. There was a real Spanish Donkey as well; it looked like it would really hurt if sat on. I really really wanted to touch the front of it but I wasn’t allowed to. I wonder why the instruments humans have used to inflict pain and pleasure are so genius. They’ve really thought about how to make it really hurt. Just thinking about it makes me excited.

Spanish donkey.jpeg

The day after arrival: Performing a kinbaku show at an SM club

I would have liked to take my time and enjoy my stay, but I had serious matters to attend to – the performance at one of Europe’s most prominent clubs, CLUB DOMA. I had a look at one of their pamphlets before going; it’s truly extravagant there. They spend their money differently than in Japan. The audience can leisurely watch the show and drink alcohol. There were also well-equipped play rooms, and each one of them were gorgeous. They also had lots of original videos.

The shows were usually only on weekend nights, but they advertised intensely, so although the shows were held in the middle of the day, lots of people gathered, and there was this strange excitement in the air. There were also about 30 people from Germany for news coverage, and as if pushing their way through the crowd were some women in bondage outfits working as waitresses. Compared to me, foreigners are huge. I’m so dainty compared to them.

The stage was smaller than I thought, and the audience is right in front of you, so you can see their reactions directly.

‘Hello, nice to meet you!’ The owner and his wife came out and we shook hands. They talked about the four shows on the program. First, they would put on a show, then it would be me and Sensei, then their turn again, and lastly Sensei and a Dutch woman. There was some time before the show, so they told us to relax for a while. We sat in the back and had some alcohol to ease our nerves when something happened.

‘Uh-oh, I’ve forgot something….’ Don’t you think Akechi-sensei looks scary in magazines or videos? He’s an honest gentleman like other rope artists I’ve met, but he is also very scatterbrained. When we arrived at the hotel, he realised he had forgotten his bag with his wallet and passport on the bus (luckily they found it quickly). This time, he had forgotten the bamboo whip he had especially brought from Japan. One of the staff members called a taxi so we just about made it in time. Right, Sensei?

The lights were dimmed and curtains opened. The show started. Until then, the audience had been noisy, but now they became silent. This was my first time on foreign grounds and I let my body embark on a new adventure. On the stage were a man and a woman, he in his forties, and her in her twenties.

Until then I’d only seen it on videos, but the people there were all shaved and had piercings. Also, tattoos. I wonder how they see my, in that sense, untouched body.

The man touched her really, really gently, and sometimes pulled at her nipple piercing. And used a whip (he was using a cat-of-nine-tails)… He was winding it up and lashing out.

‘So that hurts, huh?’ I spontaneously asked the Londoner next to me.

‘It might look soft, but he keeps hitting the same spot.’

I see. The skin kept getting redder and redder. Every now and then, he’d lash out strongly. A new question came to mind. She hardly moved or let out any sounds even if it hurt. It was like she was taking in the pain. I felt the reaction was kind of strange.

‘In the West, it’s considered good if you endure the pain and only let out sounds when it’s unbearable.’

That’s interesting. Westerners usually have quite a showy body-language, yet now it’s good when they don’t show much? There are so many differences… No time to be impressed, though. We’re up next!

In the backstage room, I put on a yukata and Sensei a jinbei. We thought it fitting to have something explicitly Japanese for this.

‘Let’s do our best, Ayano-chan…’

Of course we will. It’s an honor. Well, doing my best means letting my body go with the flow – the rest is up to Sensei. ‘Yes’, I answered as I was tying my hair up. It’ll probably get unraveled later on.

I kept asking myself: Why the Netherlands? I was puzzled. This might be just my own perception, but wouldn’t Germany or France be the more obvious place? Of course, there are a lot of places for SM, but their guards are up. It’s a bit unlikely for them to accept a foreigner like me (it’s pretty hard getting in to DOMA too). As you know, the Netherlands is where marijuana and prostitution is legal. There are so-called coffee shops where they smoke and use marijuana; there are also the famous display windows. They are loyal to their desires, or rather tolerant.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for our special guest all the way from Japan. The rope artist Mister Akechi and his slave!’

The announcement was made, and the audience became silent.

‘Do your best, Ayano-chan. We will be taking pictures.’ Handa was gripping his camera, grinning. On the other side of the stage were the people from Germany. What on earth have I signed up for?

The curtains opened. The audience was really close. You can’t really see them, because of the darkness, but I was painfully aware that their eyes were on me. I thought for a moment: I can’t do this. I’m weak… and thinking about it, I haven’t done this in front of people for a while and I’m in a faraway country.

It’s also sad not to be seen, but in that instance I didn’t want them to look. Please, don’t look, I thought. I just wanted to disappear, but there was no chance of that happening. As I was thinking all of this, my body was bound up and my skin was exposed. I’ve seen them use ropes in the West, but just as a tool for restriction. We were here to show the pain and pleasure that can be inflicted by a single rope. The rope was like magic as I was bound up. It seemed like my reactions piqued their interest.

Sensei became more determined and suspended me mid-air. Things are a bit hazy in my memory, but I do remember hearing saliva being swallowed from the audience. Candles, and the wax dripping onto my body, and the bamboo whip that relentlessly struck me. I was unable to pay attention to my surroundings and just screamed with all my strength. It echoed throughout the room.

bild 1-1.JPG

The audience was shocked by Akechi’s and Ayano’s hardcore kinbaku performance. There were announcements saying: ‘This is not abuse’.

I heard applause when I came to myself. Sensei was drenched in sweat.

‘It’s over…’

It’s always the same after every performance, I get this washed-out feeling, but I also feel very refreshed, and it’s exhilarating. The owner and his wife came on to the stage and started talking. What were they saying? I talked to the interpreters and they said it was something in the lines of:

‘She didn’t cry because she was sad, they were tears of joy. It might have looked like abuse to you, but this is not the case.’

The people in West are used to softer reactions, so to them our style was very intense. It came to my mind that SM can be very different depending on culture and country. It’s very interesting.

Sensei had another performance coming up, so I got changed and returned to my seat. Everyone’s eyes were on me, I could feel it. I guess people were thinking: ‘She’s so delicate, I wonder where her power comes from’. Because I’m so delicate, the power is condensed – if I could speak Dutch, I would have wanted to tell them that.

Next up was a tall and cool dominatrix and her slave. Her slave had genital piercings and weights on them. Surprisingly, she was defiant; it was a bit scary. When it hurt, she would stomp her feet and glare. I don’t think I would react in a such rebellious way even if it hurt, and still smile at the beginning and the end of it.  Usually when I watch other people’s play, I become emotional, but this time I was just calmly observing. There is probably a type of SM suited for Westerners and a type of SM suited for Asian people. It’s not exclusive, but enjoying the differences might be fun. I do like the Japanese SM though.

Lastly, it was Akechi-sensei and a Dutch woman. In poor English, I asked her how she felt.

‘I’m really nervous’, she answered stiffly. Maybe she felt it was scary, like the audience had? I tried consoling her, saying Sensei is very gentle, and that the previous session was so intense only because I was used to it. I wonder if she understood it.

As expected, Sensei tied her up with care. She was calm and let her body go with the flow. She was a bit dumbfounded when he suspended her mid-air, but she seemed to really enjoy it.

I asked about her thoughts after the show. ‘As a matter of fact, I’ve been bound up by a Japanese person before, and that time it was painful. Today it was like I was gently embraced.’

We had come to DOMA in the afternoon, and as we left it was only nine o’ clock in the evening, and still bright outside. We had fun together and talked about our experiences as we had Indonesian food and went to a casino afterwards.

I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me.

bild 4.JPG

This text has been translated by rish, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks.

Tsujimura Takashi: The psychological background of the impulse to do Seme (1953)

 

cover-seme

Tsujimura: The psychological background of the impulse to do Seme (1953)

In the year 1953, the magazine Kitan Club published a series of ”roundtable” discussions with some invited readers. On the KinbakuBooks-blog, we have published a translation of one of them earlier, see here: Rope Bottoming Roundtable

The text that follows is from Kitan Club issue 1, 1953.

Translation by Emi Kinako (http://www.spiderandaubergine.com )

Thank you for your fine work!

Commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

*******************************************************

The psychological background of the impulse to do Seme

First Round-Table Discussion with Readers

led by Tsujimura Takashi

Kitan Club, issue 1, 1953

Date: 27th year of Showa (1952), October 16th

Place: Arai Ryotei (Restaurant), Sonezaki-Shinchi

Participants (in no particular order):

(A) Mr. Shozo Kawai (38 years old, Kyoto)

(B) Mr. Yoshikazu Nishizawa (42 years old, Osaka)

(C) Mrs. Netsuke Ueda (25 years old, Hyogo)

(D) Mrs. Yoshiko Mitani (36 years old, Kyoto)

MC: Mr. Takashi Tsujimura

Looking at photos of seme

Mr. Takashi Tsujimura (MC): Thank you for gathering from such far places on your day off. We actually had a lot of applicants to partake in our discussion, so we had to take a look at people’s resumes, and proceeded to host this first round table discussion. Fortunately we have two women attending, so we will see if we can focus on the ecstasy exchanged during seme during this talk.

Mr. Yoshikazu Nishizawa (B): I couldn’t muster the courage to come to this event sober, so I had a drink before this.

MC: Due to the nature of our discussion, I was worried that not all the people I contacted would actually come… Especially the ladies.

Mrs. Yoshiko Mitani (D): I got very nervous before entering the restaurant. If Mr.Tsujimura wasn’t here, I was wondering who I should ask my way through.

B: It’s the first time we were meeting, and all we could use as a sign is the purple handkerchief that he was wearing.

MC: I have to say I felt the same. I’ve ordered some beer and sake, so please feel free to have a drink while we talk. I know what we’re about to talk about is quite private, so it might be a little hard to initiate the conversation. But we’ve all read some stories in KK Tsushin [NOTE 1], as well as the Penpal-section of Kitan Club – so please, relax, and bring the strange stories that you have to share. I’m impressed by your submissions, Mr. Kawai, how about you start?

bild 1.JPG

Image: ”Mr. Kawai” (A)

Mr. Shozo Kawai (A): Uh, hello. Well it makes me more nervous, now that you’ve said that. Especially since there’s some ladies present.

MC: Well, well, don’t think about that, there are plenty of stories coming from the ladies as well.

(All laugh)

MC: How does it make you feel to look at photos of tied up women, or the illustrations by Mr. Kita? [NOTE 2]

A: Since no other magazine offers such content, it’s very appealing to us fans. How can I say it, it tightens us up…

MC: We’ve received some harsh critiques regarding our content.

A: Sometimes we see content that doesn’t reflect the reality of seme. In a way, Mr. Kita’s illustrations are a beautified version as well. Since it’s a tied up woman, that’s fine on it’s own, but we also want to see some sort of agony in her expression.

B: In that vein, I enjoy Mr. Seiu Itoh’s photos and illustrations, the agony expressed and the woman’s hair. Sometimes there’s old-fashioned stuff too, though.

A: His work was from the Taisho era to the beginning of Showa era, so that kind of traditional hair style was common. In this age of perms and cropped hair, it’s hard to see any one with that sort of hair style.

B: Well, I don’t have a strong interest in hair myself. But, I know that it can express more than any part of the body. There’s a recent publication called ”Reiko Gashu”, which shows seme in snow; I think you should put that in your magazine. [NOTE 3]

MC: We could. But if we put all images into the magazine, we won’t be able to sell the monographs… (Laughter) We need to save some of the good stuff…

B: The photos, they’re mostly nudes, but I don’t think the woman has to be naked in a seme scene. I much prefer a gag, or an obi [waist belt] that’s been messed around with…

A: Seme and exhibitionism are two different thing. For example, you might not be able to put this in your magazine, but I’d much rather see a woman in a long kimono undergarment and waist belt suspended upside down, than a naked woman in some simple rope.

MC: So you’d rather see some kinbaku, than just nude photos.

A: That’s true. If the rope is too soft, that destroys everything. I feel somewhat bad for the model, but what I really want to see is some rough rope digging into the model’s skin.

B: Itoh Seiu has his own wife model for his work, so he has been able to do some good stuff. The seme in snow can’t be done easily. Taking into consideration that many of the women modelling for your magazine are amateurs interested in seme, there are some great images. The October issue was great. [NOTE 4]

MC: You’ve finally complimented us. Truth be told, the bound nudes were curated by me. The issue with the models were that we couldn’t find good ones easily. Some of them would run off when we told them we were going to tie them, and the ones that were okay with being tied didn’t make for good models…

A: That all makes me jealous.

B: Yes, I’d love to see that process if I could.

MC: It’s not that easy. We shot various poses for 2–3 hours in a ryokan [a traditional Japanese hotel]… It was in the middle of summer, but we closed all the windows and doors, so we got dizzy after a while. I wrote about how difficult it was to shoot the images in the magazine, and that we only got a few good shots out of the many we took. Some are too obscene, and we couldn’t really edit the images; the genitals are way too ”out there”. The photo-section in our October issue, the eroticism you can see in the model’s hips, that’s something no-one has been able to visualize before.

A: That was very nice. Very artistic. The photograph of the naked back, at the beginning of the issue, was a masterpiece. [NOTE 5] The photos you sent me the other day – there were some amazing shots in there, too.

B: I was a little disappointed in the November issue, there was only one photo in the beginning. [NOTE 6]

A: About that photo, are you not allowed to publish uncensored photos?

MC: If we did that, we’d be in big trouble. But we keep the censoring at the minimum.

A: Then, I have a request. Rather than having multiple images I wish you had one big image, perhaps one that’s big enough to detach and put in a proper frame.

B: I saw a freakshow that used one of your photos for their advertising.

A: Where did you see that?

B: The other day, I was at Sennichimae, and saw it lined up with some other ”perverted material”. Next to the other photos, one could see that your images were quite good.

MC: I’ve heard about that. Hmm, I think somebody told me that magazine ”R” or ”S” had images of a woman suspended upside down, do you know anything about that?

A: Oh, that. That’s probably a fake. They probably turned the image upside down and edited so it looked like what it was supposed to be. You can prove it by looking at the rope on the model’s legs. They’re using such thin rope, but none of the model’s weight is going into her legs. Even if they used thicker rope, the rope should be pushing the meat out. If you’re using thin rope, you’d have to use some tenugui or cloth and wrap that around before using the rope. Otherwise the model wouldn’t be able to bear it. Don’t you think so, Mr.Tsujimura?

MC: That’s definitely true. Five or six days ago, I saw a model being photographed while she was suspended upside-down. She was in great pain, and they couldn’t get any shots of her to use for publication.

A: I’m impressed that one person suspended her.

MC: I used a table. I brought the table to the beam, and had the model stand on it. I tied the legs to the beam, then her arms, then I removed the table. The model was about 53 kg, so the beam started to squeak, and the rope began press hard on her ankles. By the way – Mrs. Ueda, in your letter, you said that your husband had suspended you upside down. How did you manage that… [NOTE 7]

Mrs. Netsuke Ueda (C): Uh, ummm……

B: So you get punished by your husband, Mrs. Ueda?

C: Um, yes……

A: Do you enjoy that, or do you not?

bild 3.JPG

Image: Mrs. Ueda (C)

C: Well, well, please, don’t start pushing all those questions at me (laughs) It happened naturally, without me enticing it. Of course my husband is the one who punishes me, if it were someone else, I’d be in trouble… (laughs) I lied about coming here to my husband; I told him I was off to do some shopping. I’m sure he’d punish me even more if he found out that I were at such gathering. (laughter)

MC: According to your letter, he seems to take it pretty far… It said that you can’t go to sleep unless you get tied.

C: Oh, no, that was a lie. I didn’t think things would come to this, so I just blathered… (laughs)

MC: But it is not all lies, is it?

C: My husband has a lot of books that are like your magazine in his collection. I started to take a look at them, and then began to have some funny feelings… Half of it was true, and half of it is my fantasy.

A: I would love to read that letter some time.

C: Now I’m regretting that I wrote such filthy things.

MC: I’m sure you never thought you would be sitting here talking about it…. Well, lets have a listen to some true stories. Our introduction got long, but let’s get to the point. Mr. Kawai, how about you tell us how you got interested in the world of seme…

Torture play inspired by the Special Higher Police

A: I’m sure you’re all aware how awful the special higher police are overseas, so I’ll cut to the chase, but I worked for the railway system and was stationed in Harbin. I went to visit a friend of mine who was in the special higher police force, and he happened to be torturing a local woman, who was a suspect for a case.

MC: How old were you at that point?

A: That was right before the Great East Asia War, and Japan was in full force then, so I suppose it was around the 15th year of Showa [1940]. I married my current wife in Mukden, and got transferred to Harbin, I was probably around 26 years old…

MC: Was your marriage a result of a romance?

A: Well, something like that. We got married before my father knew, and before I got permission… But to stay on topic, the way the special higher police tortured their suspects… they usually tied their arms behind, threw them to the ground, stomped on them, suspended them, tied them onto a chair, burned their pubic hair with cigarettes, shoved broom sticks or walking sticks up their gentitals… Things like that. But what I observed was way worse than that. I had seen women being tortured twice or three times before that, but that was all about tying them up and beating them…

B: I’ve heard there were some innocent people as well, who got harmed during such proceedings by the police.

MC: How should I put it, it’s basically the strong beating up the weak.

A: Most of it was something like that. It was April back then, so still cold, but they had a 25 year old Chinese woman naked, her arms and legs tied onto the steam pipes running along the ceiling. I was told that they were doing something fun, and to come take a look. They pulled out an electric cord that was about 1 or 2 meters long, ripped it apart so that the circuits were out, plugged the cord in, and used it while it was connected to the electricity. The woman was screaming and crying, and the officer held onto her buttocks so she wouldn’t move. Any woman would’ve jumped in agony if that was done to them.

bild 2.JPG

Image caption: ”Aaah”

B: I wonder how it feels.

D: What a horrible thing to do.

(D and C look at each other, theirs brows knotted)

MC: I’ve heard that’s used on men, too.

A: I heard they insert the cord into the urethra, but I’ve never seen it being done.

MC: Is that how you got into the scene, Mr. Kawai…?

A: It’d be strange if I were to say that I got inspired by that incident, but I did get introduced to the world of seme by watching the special higher police torture that woman. I was telling my wife what I had seen that day before bed time. I was trying to reenact the incident, and while I was doing so with my wife, I really got into it. Since we had no children, we began calling it ”torture play”, and on some drunken nights I’d tell her ”Hey, I’m gonna torture you tonight”… Thanks to that, I got saved from a lot of boredom.

MC: ”Torture play”, I see… Let’s save our conversation about the painless, charming torture of love for later. Mr. Nishizawa, how did you get into the scene…?

Tying the victim to a tree and dissecting them

B: Let’s see. By the time I was in elementary school, I was a little bully. I was tying people, and beating them up. So my history is quite deep. When I was a child, there were a lot of plays and stories about police officers carrying their sabers, fighting away burglars, catching thieves with rope, and tales of them losing their lives while in service. It wasn’t like the way it is today- not about officers shooting their guns; it was about hand-cuffs, rope, sabers. So cops and robbers became a very popular activity among us children. We would gather, and some of us had rope and sticks in our hands, while others played the burglars.

bild 4.JPG

Image caption:  ”I’m gonna dissect you!” ”No!”

A: I used to do that a lot, too…

MC: It brings back memories. When we were young we got thrilled from stuff like that. I used to play the burglar and got tied up. I forget when it was, one time I was tied onto a tree, and the other children ran away as soon as our teacher showed up. The teacher untied me and told me ”Stop being tied up all the time, you should be a cop some time and tie others.” [NOTE 8]

B: I see, so you’re listening to your teacher, now tying up models and practicing revenge. (laughs)

MC: It’s better to tie than to be tied. It doesn’t hurt, at least.

B: Back to the story, and you see, by the time were playing such games in the mountains, I caught the kid that was playing the robber, and tied him to a tree. Then I started saying things like ”I’m going to dissect you” and ”I’m going to torture you”; I pulled down his pants, pinched his genitals, picked at it, tied the end of it with some string, put some dirt on it… We were having crazy fun as kids, you know.

MC: I still see some young kids going at it like that in the back streets.

A: The grown-ups look at the tied up kid, and have a good laugh…

B: Now that I try to remember, I think that the kid playing the robber was feeling ecstatic by being tied and picked on. As if he was masturbating.

MC: That’s quite possible. I’ve heard that there are a few people that experience masturbating by the time they’re in elementary school.

B: And when I reflect about it, I think by experiencing such things as a child, we begin to lean towards sadism or masochism.

A: When we’re playing doctor, girls experience a masochistic sense of ecstasy by being touched, and boys find their sadistic side by being mean to the girls.

MC: An example I know is when a child did something bad, so as punishment, they were tied to a tree. And by being tied repeatedly, they get a sense of loneliness as well as ecstasy, and start misbehaving simply to be tied to a tree again. Obviously this child deserves the masochist’s stamp of approval.

B: I used to live in a dormitory during my grade school years. For three years, I was in a homosexual relationship with my roommate. One day, we were fooling around; wrestling each other or playing sumo, something like that – and I tied him up with a judo belt. After that, everything went as I wanted it to. That’s when I started to think about masochism. After we graduated, I’d tie him up at night, and play with his body. We mutually masturbated, but he also serviced me with his mouth. In this case, I’m obviously the sadist and he’s the masochist.

A: So, now you have your wife as a partner?

B: Since I live with my four children, I can’t tie my wife up. And my wife seems to feel more pain than pleasure from seme.

MC: So have you been practicing seme after your marriage?

B: I don’t really practice seme with my wife. Instead, I have a woman that I can tie freely. She lives quite close to here.

bild 5.JPG

Image:  Mr. Nishizawa (B)

MC: She’s your number two?

B: Not quite… Some magazine explained it well, a ”mistress on contract” or ”light mistress”; I don’t take care of her fully. I give her a few thousand yen every month, and I get to do as I please when I see her. I tie her, take out my sexual needs on her; I basically pay a salary. It’s fun for me, and cheaper to do so than hire a professional.

MC: I heard that there are a lot of widows that do that. Though the younger generation seems to be getting into it as well.

A: It’s almost like a part-time job for them. I suppose the concept of chastity is starting to change.

MC: They’re a perfect existence for men who have time and money. The ads I see in tabloids about women looking for marriage and live-in maids are also examples of this. By the way, Mrs. Ueda, you get tied by your husband. Would you share a story of one of your experiences with us? I’m sure you’re here to share with us.

An earthquake during kinbaku

 C: It’s quite embarrassing for a woman like me to talk about this in front of all of you… But I suppose I can’t hide anything in front of you all, so here I go. It was about an year after our marriage when we started the activities…

MC: It must’ve shocked you at first.

C: Yes, but I was already obsessed at that point. (laughter) And when my husband tells me ”I’ll tie you up tonight”, I’m often in the mood for it, too.

B: I understand your husband’s feelings very well.

MC: Unless you’re both in the mood, tying and being tied up doesn’t really work out.

C: Yes. But I’ve had one horrifying incident. I’ll never forget about that. It was about the end of autumn, before I had children… That night, my husband had me all tied up in a complicated way. He removed our cabinet door, and tied me onto the door. He made me basically stand on my head, when we suddenly felt a strong tremor. I can’t believe how terrified I was of that earthquake…

A: Your husband must’ve been in great shock…

bild 6.JPG

Image caption: ”Crap…”

C: He was in such a panic. I was completely naked and couldn’t move, and blood was flowing into my brain. I couldn’t make a noise because I was gagged. I have no idea how my husband had the strength to do so, but he pulled the door – with me attached to it – out to our garden. My mother-in-law was out in the garden too, and witnessed the state I was in… (laughter) We really wished we could hide in that moment, but we couldn’t. For a period of time after, I couldn’t look my mother-in-law in her eye. I was terribly embarrassed. She passed away last year, and this is a horrible thing to say, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders… (All roaring in laughter)

MC: That’s a situation that nobody would want to be seen in. Especially by your parents. But your mother-in-law must’ve been in greater shock than yourself. She must’ve thought – what horrible things are my son doing to his wife… (laughs)

C: Oh, I wonder… Mr. Tsujimura, there was an article you wrote titled ”A couple’s love and kinbaku, a survey” in the October issue. My husband really relates to that article. So he enjoys shibari as a form of foreplay, rather than seme. [NOTE 9]

A: Most married couples are like that.

C: Yes, so when we tie, I get sometimes get cranky – it can get quite painful if my flesh gets pinched between the ropes. But other than that, I let him do anything he wants – for example, an upside-down suspension isn’t too painful.

B: What a great wife… I’m truly jealous.

C: Oh my, but my husband and I are both happy about our situation, so it’s great…

B: Which means, you enjoy being tied, don’t you?

C: It might be weird to say that I like it, but I probably do because it is with my husband. If it were some random young ruffian that barged into my house and tied me up, I wouldn’t have the same feelings. (laughter)

MC: And if that keeps you happy as a couple, there’s nothing else to say. I feel like you’ve made me listen to you boast about your relationship. Well why don’t we have you share some stories too, Mrs. Mitani…

D: …… (Mrs. Mitani laughs, but does not respond)

MC: It’s unfair, you’ve only been listening to others’ stories.

D: Oh, I’m horrible at telling stories.

MC: It didn’t seem so when you wrote to KK Tsushin. You told your stories in great detail. You’ve said you wanted to meet Mr. Kita. You’re just like Mr. Kita, and you’re not on the receiving end, you get controlled by your desires. Go on, spit it out. If not, I might make the confession for you.

D: I felt like I’ve lost my opportunity to speak, I guess I got a little scared.

MC: You should’ve spoken earlier… You made Mrs. Ueda, who’s younger than yourself, speak, and you’ve kept to yourself. Go on now, tell us the story about the maid…

Tormenting a woman by hanging her by her black hair

D: My sexual urges were planted in me when I was seven or eight years old. My mother and I were at a freak show after paying our respects to a shrine in Gion. There was a Chinese man performing – a boy was tied up from head to toe with some thick rope, thrown into a bag, and the bag was closed tightly.

bild 7.JPG

Image: Mrs. Mitani (D)

B: I’ve seen that a few times myself. After they collect all the money, the audience calls for the boy, and he reappears, having escaped from the rope. I’ve heard that the Chinese man makes him drink a lot of vinegar so his joints become flexible, and he can escape from anything.

MC: They would probably arrest the man for child-abuse in today’s time…

A: All circuses are just about the same.

D: Just like Mr. Nishizawa just mentioned, the way they collected the money was terrible. The boy’s arms were tied to his back, all the way up, and he was taken around for everyone to see. Just when he was right by me, the man placed a rod between his wrists, and twisted the rope even further. I heard something crack, and before I knew it, the arms came out to the front of his body, and the man kept tugging on the rope, dragging the boy around the audience. The boy looked like a stray dog with his arms all messed up, with tears in his eyes, looking down.

A: How horrible.

D: I was looking at him, in shock. My body was shaking. But I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I had this feeling of wanting to torture him, so I must’ve been a little strange already when I was a child…

B: All children have an interest in the bizarre.

D: And on top of that, you know how criminals were dragged out in public while being hand-cuffed with rope?

MC: When they’re getting transferred?

D: Probably something like that. I used to chase after them and just stare at the situation.

MC: Let’s talk about the maid.

D: I suppose… I, well I’m sure you’re all aware, but my husband passed away four years ago. I live alone with my maid, with nothing to do…

B: What do you do for work?

D: I live off of what my husband left me. I also have some stock in my name, so I’m waiting for that to come through…

A: It’s normal to want something a little different when you have money and extra time on your hands.

D: My maid has been around for two years – she’s very energetic and helpful, so I’ve taken good care of her. But one time, I made her go run an errand… I was waiting for her, but she stayed out without my permission, telling me she was staying with a family member, or something like that. I wasn’t so serious, but I really scolded her. She didn’t stop crying, and begged me to do whatever I pleased.

B: Was that the start of your misadventures?

D: Something like that. Since she spent the night out, I figured she stayed out with a man. I later found out that she really did stay with a family member. But then, I told her that I would do as I pleased…

A: You were being hysterical, huh… (laughter)

D: Well now you’ve said something we were all struggling to say out loud. Well, that’s the truth, so I can’t argue… (laughter) I was irritated, and I really wanted to punish her. So I made her undress to her underwear, tied her arms in the back using a kimono sash, grabbed her by the hair, and dragged her to the closet door. I divided her hair in two parts and tied them onto the beam, suspended her, questioned her what she did the night before, and began torturing her with a ruler.

A: There was a scene just like that in the Reiko Gashu

MC: (Flipping through pages of the book) Ah, here it is. It’s titled ”Shigure”. The mood is very similar, and…

D: She tells me: ”I didn’t do anything with a man”. I told her I will look into that, and she tells me: ”Yes, please go ahead, do that.”

A: And you undressed her… Well this is becoming interesting.

D: When you’re a virgin, you’re so pure, unlike me… (laughs) But it’s not like that would’ve calmed me down, and I wanted to take my torture to the next level. I got out some acupuncture needles that my late husband used to use, and began stabbing them into her breasts, thigh, and her private areas. I began to feel very excited, and at the same time, my maid’s face began to fluster, and panting. She seemed like she was in pain, but her eyes were closed gently, as if she was enjoying everything. From that incident on, we started playing like that.

A: Seems like she’s a bit on the masochistic side.

D: Probably so. She’s held herself together when I tie and torture her quite strongly, and I’ve used tools on her as well, but it seems like she’s enjoying herself…

B: Tools as in, something like dildos?

D: Things like that. Like kokeshi dolls and vegetables……

MC: Now that Mrs. Mitani’s gotten talkative, why don’t we have the others share their stories?

Tying two women as if they were on a scale

A: I’ve tied two women at once, well, my wife and her sister. Truth be told, my wife’s sister came downstairs to use the restroom, and saw what my wife and I were doing. I was tying her up, and doing all sorts of things to her. At first I didn’t notice anything, but around her second and third time, I felt a presence. I felt a little demonic, and opened up the screen door to show her my wife – who was all tied up and gagged and in nothing but her undergarment. I dragged her sister into the room, warning her that I couldn’t let her be after she had seen what we were doing. I pushed her onto the floor and tied her up in front of my wife. That was the start of it all.

MC: I’m surprised your wife didn’t say anything.

A: At first she wasn’t happy about it, but we made a pact. Since she saw what we were doing, why not enjoy it amongst the three of us… But I promised her that I wouldn’t rape her sister.

B: I’m impressed that her sister agreed. I don’t understand what was going on in her head.

C: Is that true… seriously?

A: It’s true. But obviously the sister was all embarrassed, wiggling in the rope as she was tied onto the floor beam.

B: That’s still going on?

A: No, we only did it about four or five times…

B: She must be troubled, having a strange brother-in-law like you.

D: Perhaps your sister-in-law enjoys being tied, no? Otherwise she wouldn’t be sneaking around to get a peek. I would get it if it were a one-time thing, but…

bild 8.JPG

Image caption: Dragged my sister-in-law into this

A: I don’t know, maybe she’s a masochist. We did something very fun, once. I tied a pulley onto a beam, and tied my wife and her sister with the rope from the pulley. I left my wife tied up, and had her sister climb up to the beam using a ladder, tied her, and removed the ladder. They were both suspended in the air, and when I pulled on my wife’s leg, her sister would go up. I didn’t go any further, but I took a good look at them suspended in the air.

B: And your sister-in-law, you didn’t do anything further with her?

A: As I promised, no, nothing.

B: I’m impressed that you held yourself together. I don’t know what I would’ve done. But perhaps your sister-in-law wanted something more. If she did, that’s such a cruel way of teasing her.

A: She has a prospective husband. She’s going to get married soon. I’m glad I didn’t go any further.

B: She’ll probably serve her husband very well. She got educated so much before her marriage.

MC: Perhaps she will become like Mrs. Ueda and truly enjoy being tied. But Mr. Kawai, your story sounds a bit mischievous too.

C: These days, my husband uses a ladder quite often. He ties me to the ladder. Ties my ankles onto the edges of the ladder, and flips it upside down.

A: There’s so many ways to use a ladder. I tried using one with my wife as well, and it’s great since you can handle it on your own. I made her spread her legs, tied her legs down on the edges, and flipped the ladder upside down. You can easily do an upside down suspension that way. I also use a shortened candle. I’ll light it up and fix it to one of the steps, and the wax will drip onto her body. The flame goes out just in time.

B: Isn’t that hot?

A: The wax is only hot up at the top, so there’s no worries. I mean, the wax is quite hot, but it’s nothing she can’t handle. Once the wax hardens, it’s quite a sight. I’ve done this twice or thrice, but I always get a different outcome.

B: I’ll give it a try. For me, my woman, she lives in an apartment, so we can’t make too much noise. So I’ll tie her, bite her and suck on her. But the other day, both of us got so drunk, and she begged me to be extra mean to her. I decided the time was now, and though I was drunk and dizzy, I placed her on top of the sewing machine table, and tied down her breasts, arms, stomach, hips, and legs onto the steam pipes that went up to the ceiling. Then I moved away the sewing machine-table… Her body was floating in air, and I began to paint obscure drawings on her body using black ink. I drew a penis on her breast, a vagina on her cheek, and so on.

MC: Did you whip her, like they do overseas?

bild 10.JPG

Image caption: Drew obscure illustrations in black ink

B: That’s painful. (laughter) I don’t want to put the woman in pain for my own pleasure.

A: You make it sound like kinbaku involves no pain. It’s quite painful, you know.

B: Yes, but there’s only one thing you can do with whipping. With kinbaku, there are so many options. And using a whip in an apartment… All that noise – there would be rumors piping up everywhere.

C: My husband never beats me. He hit me once with a band, but I told him to stop because it was painful. He never did it again. I’m sure he was just copying illustrations and photos from overseas that he had seen.

A: In foreign countries, when children get mischievous, they get a beating on their bottoms. Those people must be accustomed to being threatened by a whip.

B: There’s another weird play that they do, covering each other in oil and chasing after each other until they get all tired.

A: I sometimes practice rape fantasies. I ask my wife to fight back as much as she can. And then I force her down, tie her up, undress her, and fight again and push myself in. It can be pretty fun.

C: This has got nothing to do with tying, but… we sometimes pull a lotto, and the winner gets to pretend that they’re a baby. Feeding, urinating, bathing, dressing, all of that… You pretend that you’re a child and have the other person take care of you.

A: The wife holding onto the husband, have her legs pulled up, and made to pee… How funny.

MC: All of your stories sound so fun, and kinbaku and seme have become a great addition to your marriage and sex life. The acts themselves are like foreplay. I guess you’re an exception, Mrs. Mitani……

bild 9.JPG

Image: Reporter Tsujimura  (MC)

D: Oh, I adore that girl. That’s why I want to torture her. I wonder if you can understand…

A: I understand you, really I do.

MC: And there’s nothing sexual?

D: If I remove her freedom, things naturally go that way…

MC: I’m sure things will becoming interesting if we have someone like Reiko Kita or Tsuruko Matsui write about those stories.

A: Next time, I’d love to have a discussion with them as well.

B: I agree.

MC: I shall let them know. We’ve spent an awful long time talking, so I’d like to call it quits now. Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

**************************************************

Notes by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

  1. The KK通信 was a small publication only for the subscribers of Kitan Club that existed 1952–1954. Often, it consisted of just a few pages.

There is some information on SMpedia: http://smpedia.com/index.php?title=KK通信

And there is a scan here: http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/kktsushin/kktushin.htm

  1. ”Mr. Kita” is of course the masterful artist Kita Reiko, also known as Minomura Kou and Suma Toshiyuki.
  1. The Reiko Gashu was a book collecting artwork by Kita Reiko, published in 1952. You get a peek here: http://www.kinbakutoday.com/kita-reikos-1952-album-玲子画帖/
  1. When this readers’ roundtable-talk was held, in October 1952, it was still quite new for Kitan Club to publish photos of rope-bondage. The photo-section in the October-issue consisted of four pages:

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/106.html

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/107.html

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/108.html

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/109.html

The issue also featured rather fine illustrations of rope-scenes by Kita Reiko.

  1. The naked back at the beginning of the 1952 October issue of Kitan Club can be viewed here:

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/002.html

  1. The single photo published in the 1952 November issue can be viewed here:

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195211/002.html

  1. I am note sure, but I suspect that Mrs. Ueda’s husband is Ueda Seishiro. See some earlier posts about Ueda Seishiro on KinbakuBooks here: https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/?s=ueda&submit=Sök
  1. Tsujimura tells a version of this childhood story also in a much later interview:

”As I remember it, I realized that there were feelings like this when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade of elementary school. I was playing ‘police and thief’. In this game, you divide into two groups, the police and the thieves. When the police catches a thief, they tie him to a tree. I remember I was having a strange ecstasy when being tied to a tree. So, in my case, it didn’t start with tying but with being tied. I started as an M, not an S.”

Published in full translation here: https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/tsujimura-takashi-interview-in-sankei-weekly-1976/

  1. You can read Tsujimuras article here:

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/104.html

http://nawa-art.com/backnumber/1950/195210/105.html